tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS August 30, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
>> pelley: tonight, deep trouble on the gulf coast. rising waters from isaac force more people and animals to evacuate in louisiana and mississippi. byron pitts and mark strassmann are in the flood zone. norah o'donnell on mitt romney preparing for the most important speech of his political career. we'll talk to his running mate. we hear for the first time from the psychiatrist who treated james holmes just weeks before the colorado massacre. and anthony mason on the obama and romney tax plans and how they would affect the middle class. captioning sponsored by cbs >> this is the >> this is the cbs evening news with scott pelley reporting tonight from the republican national convention. >> pelley: good evening. republicans are gathering here
for the biggest night of their convention, but we still have an eye on a crisis unfolding along the gulf. floodwaters are rising, the legacy of hurricane isaac. the storm is now a tropical depression moving north. the rain it left behind has lakes and rivers overflowing their banks, flooding streets and homes. a dam in southern mississippi is at risk of imminent failure. 60,000 people are being evacuated downstream, including the entire town of kentwood, louisiana. byron pitts is there. byron. >> reporter: well, scott, firefighters and deputies drove through neighborhoods here. they spoke on loud speakers. they gave clear and simple directions-- "you have 90 minutes. pack what you can and go." kim garmillion and her husband thought they were done running when they moved here from new orleans. they were wrong. >> i think it's crazy. we move here after katrina, and
we're just praying that everything will be fine. >> reporter: isaac has already dumped more than 20 inches of rain along the gulf coast in three days, and it's still raining. today, mississippi's lake tangipahoa swelled beyond its banks. this lake is a 700-acre pool that feeds into rivers stretching more than 60 miles. authorities say they'll have to release some of its waters. it's the only way to save some 60,000 people from having their homes overtaken by floodwaters 17 feet deep. >> so if you have registered, please come inside. >> reporter: local shelters like this one in kentwood, louisiana, filled up quickly. cherrie gibson says she wasted little time getting here. you've got your clothes and your purse and your kids with you, and that's it. it was the same for families in slidell, louisiana, east of new orleans. police and national guardsmen rescued nearly 100 people, the frail and the able body.
rebecca basic called 911 to save herself and her children, one- year-old jacob and seven-year- old jennifer. >> i think that i wasn't going to swim because i don't know how. >> reporter: 69-year-old dorothy innerarity has lived here most of her life. she's partially paralyzed. in the rush she left her medication behind. and these are the first upclose images of plaquimines parish south of slidell, parts of it under 14 feet of water. back in kentwood, darrel gordon thought about ignoring the mandatory evacuation. you packed and got on the road. >> if not for those two girls, i would have stayed there. >> reporter: tonight, officials are pumping water off the lake and, scott, they tell us unless it rains much more, that should be enough. >> pelley: byron, thank you. more than two feet of rain is still expected in some places, including lands that were hit hard by the record drought. but mark strassmann says that
rain may not be as welcome as you might think. >> reporter: ted kendall is a fifth generation mississippi farmer and he is worried about his 3,000 acres of soybeans. isaac dumped four inches of rain here in the last 24 hours, but kendall needs dry weather right now. his soybean harvest is in two weeks. >> this is when they're most susceptible to excess moisture. when they start getting really wet they'll swell and rot. >> reporter: kendall is also worried isaac spoiled his 3,000- acre cotton crop, ready for harvest in 10 days. >> the rain makes it fall out, basically. you see some on the ground here. and, you know, any-- any that falls out, obviously, we won't get to market. >> reporter: isaac gave mississippi farmers like kendall the most rain when they needed it the least. for kendall, it's all bad timing. after several years of little rains and weak harvests, this year was supposed to be his comeback crop. >> we were really hopeful to have a good year, and then maybe
make up some lost things from years past. it was the wrong time for us here. >> reporter: kendall knows that isaac has cost him. he just won't know how much for a couple of weeks. scott, he'll spray defoliant on the leaves of both crops and then he'll be able to see the scope of his loss. >> pelley: thanks, mark. no one in this hall has traveled longer or farther to be at this convention than mitt romney. he has spent six years working for the republican presidential nomination. tonight, he will accept it in a high-stakes speech designed to reintroduce himself to the nation. norah o'donnell, cohost of "cbs this morning" has been talking to her sources on the floor. and, nora what do you expect to hear in the speech? >> reporter: well, scott, advisers say this is going to be a highly personal speech where mitt romney tries to put his reputation through the washing machine after president barack obama has spent tens of millions of dollars painting romney as an out-of-touch corporate raider.
we're going to hear mitt romney talk about his family and his faith, specifically, that he is part of the mormon church, the church of latter day saints, and how that church shapes his values. the next section of the speech will focus on his vision for the country, and advisers say he will draw some sharp contrast with president obama on economic and foreign policy issues. he will say this-- "i wish president obama had succeeded because i want america to succeed, but his promises gave way to disappointment and division. this isn't something we have to accept. now is the moment when we can do something." and, scott, someone very close to mitt romney said to me, "this speech is not so much about throwing red meat to the crowd inside here but reaching women in ohio, that key swing state.
and we'll hear mitt romney really reaching out to disaffected democrats and independents. at one point he will deliver a stinging rebuke of obama saying, "you know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done when, as president, when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him." >> pelley: norah, thank you. this afternoon, mitt romney ran into his running mate here, paul ryan, and essentially told ryan thanks for setting such a high bar for my speech. ryan brought the delegates to their feet last night with a sharp critique of the president's economic record. >> it began with the housing crisis they alone didn't cause. it ends with a housing crisis they didn't correct. ( applause ) it began with a perfect aaa credit rating for the united states. it ends with a downgraded america. >> pelley: we had a chance to talk to congressman ryan today about several points that he made last night, but one thing that caught our ear was the
point that he made about that credit downgrade last year that was the result of partisan deadlock among many players in washington. final point on the speech last night, you also suggested that it was the president's fault that the nation's credit rating was downgraded. >> yeah. >> pelley: but when standard & poors issued that credit rating downgrade, it said that it was the republican congress. >> that's not true. >> pelley: that was at fault. >> that's not correct. >> pelley: i can meet the quote. >> i met with the team. they said if our republican budget would have passed it would have prevented the downgrade. they basically said because of the lack of leadership in washington, political leadership, that's the downgrade. i would argue strenuously comes from the fact that the senate didn't pass a budget for three years and the president didn't bother trying to put a solution on the table to get it to avoiding a debt crise while the house passed our reform. >> pelley: standard & poors said, "we have changed our assumptions on this because the majority of republicans in congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues."
they're saying you refused to raise taxes and they downgraded the american government debt. >> i see it a different way. that's not my understanding from talking to them. >> pelley: you haven't been able to get your budget out of the congress and to the white house. what would be different? >> we need to have a senate that's willing to pass a budget, along with the house, and then a president that's willing to make tough decisions and willing to read. that's what mitt romney is all about. >> pelley: willing to compromise. >> mr. to compromise and willing to lead. put your ideas on the table and then off to lead. don't it's fundamentally the antithesis of what we should be doing as the leaders of the country. >> pelley: the president would say the same thing about the
republicans. he would say i'm willing to compromise. they won't talk to me. >> i haven't spoken to president obama since last summer. i'm the chairman of the budget committee. we don't just-- he calls us and has us come meet with him. >> pelley: cbs news will bring you live coverage of governor romney's acceptance speech tonight at 10:00 eastern time, that is 7:00 in the west. the psychiatrist who treated james holmes a few weeks before the colorado theater massacre spoke publicly for the first time today. she testified at a hearing to determine whether prosecutors can have a notebook that holmes sent to her. john blackstone is at the courthouse in colorado. john. >> reporter: scott, today, james holmes came face to face with the psychiatrist who once treated him at the university of colorado. now, dr. lynne fenton told the court their doctor-patient relationship ended on june 11. on that day, dr. fenton said,
she reported concerns to the campus police. the next day, holmes' access card to the university was canceled. now, more than a month later, on july 19, the day before the shooting, holmes put a package in the mail to dr. fenton. when the package from holmes to dr. fenton was discovered in the university mailroom, investigators sent in the bomb squad fearing it contained explosives. instead, investigators reportedly found a notebook with crude drawings that seemed to suggest planning for a mass murder. while much about holmes remains a mystery, documents from the university of iowa released today give some insight. in his 2010 application to graduate school at the university, holmes wrote he had a strong desire to explore the unknown. he wrote about working at a camp where children with schizophrenia were heavily medicated, saying, "this did not solve their problems, only create new ones." in response to holmes' application, one university
official advised, do not offer admission under any circumstances. today in court, holmes seemed slightly more engaged. sometimes, though, he still had that wide-eyed look around the courtroom, though he did speak to his attorneys a couple of times, also, i didn't see him make any direct eye contact with the psychiatrist who once treated him at the university. >> pelley: john, thank you. did harvard students cheat on their exams? ann romney tells us what americans should know about her husband. and the catch of the day is a long, lost message in a bottle when the cbs evening news continues. 8% every 10 years. wow. wow. but you can help fight muscle loss with exercise and ensure muscle health. i've got revigor. what's revigor? it's the amino acid metabolite, hmb to help rebuild muscle
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without freshly-made pasta. you could also cut corners by making it without 100% real cheddar cheese. but then...it wouldn't be stouffer's mac & cheese. just one of over 70 satisfying recipes for one from stouffer's. >> pelley: both mitt romney and president obama are courting middle class voters, many of whom fear that the dream of a better life for their children is slipping away. in a cbs news poll, 39% of voters told us that they are worse off than they were four years ago. we asked anthony mason to tell us how the candidates' tax policies would affect the middle class. >> reporter: in middletown, ohio, deanna and terry shores consider themselves and their two boys a typical middle-class family. >> what would be the difference between a report and an essay? >> reporter: deanna teaches english at miami university. terry teaches middle school. both have master's degrees. >> we're middle class.
we're two professional homes. we thought it would look a certain way and be a certain way. >> reporter: do you feel like the middle class actually gets lost in the middle? >> we just kind of get looked at well they're doing okay, and we're not. we're struggling to maintain the notion of america. >> reporter: on the streets of middleton, the signs of the economic struggle everywhere. back in 1957, "look" magazine gave its middleton it's "all america" city award but a lot's changed. 50 years later, "forbes" magazine ranked it one of america's fastest dying towns. as businesses have left, the poverty rate has soared here and the american dream feels more elusive for families like the shores. >> my grandfather built engines for g.e. he created a very nice life for my mother. >> reporter: do you still believe in that dr >> yeah, and i want it, and i work really hard every day to have a little piece of it. >> reporter: does it feel you have to reach farther for it now? >> yeah. >> reporter: in fact, middle- class americans saw their median
wealth decline 28% in the decade ending in 2010. both presidential candidates are promising help. >> i will not raise taxes on middle-income americans. >> reporter: republican mitt romney is proposing cuts in east of six tax rates. middle class taxpayers would see their taxes drop by about 2%. americans earning more than $215,000 would see their taxes cut by 6% or more. >> let's put the middle class back in the forefront. >> reporter: president obama would leave current tax rates virtually unchanged for 98% of americans, while raising taxes on top earners by up to 6%. that's for individuals making $200,000 or more and families earning $250,000 and up. >> with the wealthy, they have all kinds of ways to hide their money. the middle class, we have to scuffle to keep it all solid. >> reporter: deanna now has another child on the way. terry took a paycut in the recession. but they still have faith.
>> dreams are sometimes hard to break. if that's been implanted and imparted to you, it's hard to let go. >> reporter: the shores may have lost some income. what they haven't lost is hope. anthony mason, cbs news, middleton, ohio. >> pelley: harvard university said today that more than 100 students are being investigated for cheating. they were part of a class that had take-home exams and they were told not to collaborate, but teaching assistants noticed that the wording on many of the answers was identical. a university spokesman said he can't remember anything ever happening like this at harvard. ann romney talks about a side of her husband that you don't often see. when we come back.
>> pelley: >> pelley: mitt romney's biggest goal here tonight is to connect with the voters. to some, he has had trouble doing that, and i talked to the governor and his wife, ann, on the eve at the convention. i don't know if you see this, mrs. romney, but when someone is speaking to your husband as we are now, he seems very relaxed and completely comfortable. but when he gets in front of a large crowd, he seems to stiffen a little bit. do you see that? does it frustrate you? >> no, no, no. i don't see that. i-- you know, i see a person that has spent his entire life-- this is where i wish the people would have the perspective that
i do-- that has been charitable and generous with his time and his talents through everything he's done in his life. and he's always reaching out and helping others. and that's the side of him that people don't know about. >> pelley: you've talked about giving 10% of your time to the church, not just 10% of your money. would you imagine continuing to do that as president of the united states? >> well, actually, i give 10% of our income to the church, and 10% of my time is-- is donated to things of-- of a community nature, a national nature, church nature. the church requires that kind of time of me when i had the responsibility as pastor of the congregation. i hope to be able to serve as is did as the governor of massachusetts. i don't expect my church over the next eight years will be asking for any of my time if i'm successful in winning this election. >> i don't think you ever stopped serving. he will be serving in a much different way, but that's who he is. mitt and i were both raised to just give back.
>> pelley: you know, something occurs to me-- when you took over the winter olympics in salt lake, you took no salary for that job. when you served as governor of massachusetts. you took no salary for that job. >> i know where you're going with this one. >> pelley: if you become president of the united states, are you not going to take a salary for that job? it's about $400,000 a year. >> i have no announcement for you. i have no announcement. we'll see what the future holds. >> pelley: mitt romney is expected to talk about his mormon faith during his speech tonight. off the coast of scotland, a fisherman found a message in a bottle and the message is 98 years old. guinness world records said today it is the oldest ever recovered. the bottle was one of nearly 2,000 released in 1914 as part of a study to map the currents of the north see off scotland. the message offered a reward of sixpence to whoever found it. our coverage of the republican national convention will continue in just a moment with insights from bob schieffer.
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friend. added a surprise speaker to the program tonight, the former mayor of carmel by the sea. maybe you know him better as clint eastwood, and if that doesn't make your day, maybe bob schieffer can with his thoughts on the final night of the convention. bob. >> reporter: well, i'll try. you know, this hasn't been a great summer for the romney team. every time they tried, scott, to get the nation's attention, something happened over which he had no control, like the hurricane. once here, things did get a little better. ann romney gave a lovely speech. it captivated the delegates and, they hope, the tv audience as well. and last night, paul ryan showed that a policy wonk can be a pretty fair attack dog. so they hope they're finally getting at least some of the nation's attention. the bad news-- two good speeches just increased the pressure on romney to make a better one and what makes a good speech? at a gathering of political consultants here today, there was consensus that most voters know what romney thinks about the president's vision for the country. what we need to hear now is his vision of where he wants to take the country, said veteran
republican political operative sarah fagin. the person who can do that in a way that connects with people's lives will win. i have another thought-- if the political parties want to stop being distracted by hurricanes, just stop scheduling these conventions at the height of hurricane season. >> pelley: bob, thanks very much. and that is the cbs evening news for tonight. bob and i will be back with our live coverage at 10:00 eastern time, but for now, for all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley tampa, see you again soon. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
this is 9 news now. tonight the water is still rising and homes are being trashed in the wake of tropical storm isaac, plus 60,000 people had to flee from their homes. rains from isaac have a dam threatening to burst right near the louisiana/mississippi border and isaac has now weakened to a tropical depression. however, it's still dumping lot of rain creating big time problems. karen brown picks up the story from reserve, louisiana. >> reporter: thousands of people packed up their cars and evacuated towns along a river near the louisiana/mississippi border where a dam is in danger of breaking. local officials say there's a 50/50 chance the dam will fail at lake tangipahoa. in plaquemines parish south of ne